tsujiru - editing

When Do You Need Editing?

The answers are:

  1. Always
  2. Never

Levels of English ability vary widely in Asia. In general, compared with Europe, they are low. The only real exceptions are Singapore and Malaysia, and to a degree the Philippines, where English is very commonly spoken and used in school. Even then, few in those countries can use error-free English.

For this reason, you always need editing.

If you think editing is the only thing you need to do business in English, then the answer is never. I want my customers to realize that editing is part of the process. Sometimes I do what my customers call editing, but it is actually rewriting or “transcreation” (using the source language and writing original English text).

Editing is essential. But editing translation is not how you will win in international business. I want my clients to succeed. Write to me for a consultation and we can discuss this more deeply.

Be strategic.

Don’t cut corners.

Always be winning.

tsujiru - glasses

Editing, Proofreading, Localization

Editing and/or proofreading are the simplest ways to increase the quality of your English content. This brings better results. When readers can understand, they are more likely to keep reading and perhaps to make an inquiry or even a sale. Localization is a further step to make the language suited a specific regional audience. These alone are not full solutions, but they are so much better than direct translation.

Proofreading, and even full editing, are usually not complete solutions, but they are so much better than nothing at all; so much better than a word-for-word translation from Japanese, Korean, Chinese, or another language.

Localization is even better.

As an editor for over 20 years, focused on business and science, I have made unnatural and simply bad English good. For scientific writing, this can be enough to get a good manuscript published. However, in business, whether B2C or B2B, these are bare minimum steps. They should be combined with marketing strategy, content integration, and original content.


This is a basic check of grammar, spelling, and enough to make the language “correct.” Don’t confuse it with editing, and please don’t think that proofreading a translation is enough to make you look professional in English. About 95% of the time it’s not. But, it is a start and it’s better than nothing.


This is a deeper correction and rework of your language. It is either done on translated content or on content you have written yourself in English. Editing includes the language checking (often called “native check” in Japanese), but then involves changing word choice, restructuring sentences and paragraphs, and even working with the writer or translator to find the intended meaning. Substantive editing can go a further step and involve a back-and-forth to add new content and make heavy changes to the text. However, all editing works to generally maintain the author’s original intent and structure.


This can either be seen as part of editing or an added step. There are many “Englishes” in the world. Levels of formality can be different and word choices can be different. A popular cultural reference in the UK may not be understood in the US or Canada. Localization is a powerful step when you are marketing to a specific market. A skilled copywriter will research and use local styles or may consult with experts to adapt the English so it is most acceptable in the target market for the target audience.

Editing is always part of my work. In some cases, such as technical documents, or app UX or UI, translation + editing and perhaps localization can be enough to make a final product. As a Board Certified Editor in the Life Sciences and a long-time editor, I will always take on these tasks, but some rewriting and original content is almost always necessary when I work with Asian clients.

Do you want to do the minimum? Or do you want to dramatically improve your sales chances? It’s up to you, and up to your budget.

The only way we can find out is to look at what you have and find out what you need.

Main benefits of native English editing, proofreading, and localization of all your business content:

  • Enable basic understanding for the reader
  • Make language read naturally, or at least free of errors
  • Provide basic assurance that you can do business in English
  • Show you care enough to make your language readable
  • Create a smoother entry point for potential customers